Hurray!! July is here! My most favorite of all the months for a few reasons.
1. The 4th. Lest we forget, 236 years ago our fabulous forefathers declared our nation independent from Great Britain. As a result, Independence Day is now synonymous with warm weather, BBQ’s, parties, fireworks, and an all out good time. Throw the risk of an alien invasion in there, and you’ve got the makings of a pretty glorious holiday…
2. It’s birthday month!! And no, not just mine. Its kind of freakish all the birthdays that fall in July. It essentially guarantees that the inaugural celebrations beginning this week continue through the end of the month.
Enough of my ode to July – you’ll be hearing much more about my festivities throughout I’m sure – let’s talk cycling. Or what I like to refer to as torture of two wheels.
J and his dad are heading to France in a few weeks to ride their bikes along the Tour De France route. Yeah, that Tour De France. The one through the Pyrenees Mountains…Masochists..
As a result, J has been riding a lot lately in prep for this great adventure. I generally stick to running as I’ve previously described my love/hate relationship with cycling but when he asked if I would accompany him on a ‘short’ 32 mile ride I figured I’d give it a whirl. See, in my mind, if I can run 13 miles, I most certainly can bike twice that since I’ll be moving a lot faster and streaking down hills like a boss. This, of course, is how my mind likes to convince my body that it won’t have a problem completing such tasks. Jokes on me.
The Tour De Rocky Top is an annual ride beginning and ending in downtown Knoxville at Barley’s. It coincides with the beginning of the Tour De France and you get free beer and pizza at the end of the ride. Free beer, you say? Sign me up!
Problem was, Saturday turned out to be, quite literally, the hottest day on record in Knox County history. Seriously. in 141 years of temperature recording, the 105 degree temps broke the previous record of 104 set in 1930. And I was on a bike. WTF.
Peddling up and down hills in my little padded diaper shorts and my caged in sneakers (ps, nothing screams amateur cyclist more than not having clippy shoes) I went through no less than 3 full water bottles of Gatorade. I also managed to master the art of reaching down to grab my bottle while riding. My skills are even beyond me sometimes.
Honestly, it was a lot of fun, and quite a beautiful ride. We rode over the South Gay Street Bridge (bridges are always fun)…
…through some beautiful countryside, and quaint neighborhoods. J’s mom stuck it out with my slow-poke ass and in the end and I managed to ride further than I ever had. In a heat wave no less. And I didn’t face plant the asphalt. Just call me superwoman.
I suppose cycling isn’t all that bad. I mean, the downhill parts are fun and it’s a killer workout. Plus, if I ever decide to to a Tri, I’ll be glad I have some sort of skill in the bike portion. Sigh…I guess the only thing left to do now is get clippy shoes.